It is estimated that 40% of the population is gluten sensitive. Gluten is a special type of protein that is present in wheat, rye and barley. Gluten is not harmful, but rather part of a healthy diet for those not affected with celiac disease. Celiac disease affects about 1% of our population. People with this disease cannot digest gluten in their digestive system. Some people also have a gluten allergy known as Dermatitis herpetiformis, which also exhibits some of the symptoms of celiac disease, though both the conditions are different ailments.
People with a gluten allergy can take wheat with gluten infrequently. Those with celiac disease must avoid gluten completely, otherwise they will have to face serious consequences, even for taking small amounts of gluten. People with ‘Gluten allergy’ face problems such as constant fatigue, even after taking lots of rest, depression for no reason, and a significant loss in iron, causing anemia. Celiac disease, if not properly treated, may be fatal. A gluten allergy also causes weight loss, constipation, bloating in the abdomen and a sudden inability to focus on basic tasks.
Gluten is toxic to many of us. It slowly destroys our small intestine. Our small intestine is responsible for turning the food we take in into fuel. The fuel that is generated in the small intestine is pumped into body cells for their nourishment. If the small intestine is damaged, the body cells do not get fed well, and this can lead to many disorders, like irritable bowel syndrome, stress, thyroid problems and autoimmune diseases like Arthritis.
However, if we go deeper into the scientific terminology regarding the harmful part of gluten, the amino-acid sequence called ‘Gliadin’ is actually responsible for causing celiac disease. Gliadin is a glycoprotein present within Gluten. The people with celiac disease were found to have antibodies for Gliadin in their blood.